ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis Zoo swung into spring with a new resident. On Tuesday, the zoo announced it welcomed a new Guereza colobus monkey last month.
His name is Ficus, and he's the first monkey born at the Saint Louis Zoo since the 35,000-square-foot outdoor expansion Primate Canopy Trails opened last summer. Mom and baby have access to the outdoor space, along with the rest of the family.
“With the addition of Ficus, we now have a family of nine individuals, which is the largest group we have ever had at the zoo," said Brooke Johnson, a primate keeper at the zoo in an emailed news release. "It is so fun to watch the family dynamic play out in this large family! The older siblings are learning necessary behaviors for becoming great mothers or fathers one day.”
Ficus continues the theme of tree-related names in the family. His siblings are Juniper, Willow, Hawthorn and Teak. Ficus' mom is Cecelia, 22, and the zoo said she's taking great care of her newborn. Ficus will stay with mom for nursing and sleeping, but all the females in the family will take turns holding baby Ficus when mom is busy, said the zoo.
"Ficus is already very adventurous, practicing his walking away from Mom and watching his older siblings chase and play. It won’t be long until he’s joining them!” said Johnson in the release.
The dad is Kima, 16, and the zoo said he "can be seen watching over his family and interacting with the youngsters."
You can see in the pictures that Ficus has all white hair and a pink face. That's how infants are born, said the zoo in the release. Adults are primarily black with white hair around their face, tails and backs. The Zoo said an infant's hair will change until they reach adult coloration at around 6 months.
Welcome to St. Louis, Ficus!